While the hot weather continues, you may cool down by enjoying your favorite cold drink or escaping into your air-conditioned home. While these are probably typical strategies for you, the wildlife that lives in or around your backyard must use other methods to avoid overheating. Our wildlife control team in Milwaukee can help you understand skunk behavior and why they might decide to make their home on your property.
Skunks Are Skilled Diggers
Skunks have strong claws that allow them to dig into almost any kind of earth to forage for their food, which includes insects and worms. The claws are also strong enough to uproot cultivated dirt, like the kind you add to your garden. In hot weather, skunks will dig a burrow and hide themselves away until evening arrives when they can continue to hunt.
When the heat arrives, skunks may choose a shady spot in your backyard to make a burrow, such as under a deck or at the base of a large shade tree. You may not know the animals are there at first but they may react by spraying you or your pets if startled. Our wildlife control team in Milwaukee can inspect your property for skunk burrows and humanely remove any animals we find.
Skunks May Hide in Shaded Structures
A skunk may prefer a ready-made shaded area rather than digging its own. Because they are opportunistic creatures and can adapt to living near people, one may take up residence in your shed or garage if these structures are left open. Skunks are skilled climbers and will use tree branches to reach your garage or tool shed. Closing and locking the doors on these buildings can deter a skunk from making its home inside.
Unused outdoor pet shelters may also cause a skunk to invite itself onto your property. If you use this type of pet housing for your animals infrequently, it is a good idea to store it away before a skunk decides it makes a fine home for itself.
Skunks Sleep the Heat Away
While skunks are not active during the winter, they may also sleep a great deal during hotter days with a process known as estivation, or a type of daytime hibernation. They sleep deeply during the hottest part of the day, which allows them to conserve their energy for the coming evening when they forage for insects and other types of food.
Like other foraging mammals, skunks are nocturnal, so you may not see them at all during the day unless you encounter them in a cool, shady area of your backyard or shed. If you realize a skunk is inhabiting your garage or storage area, avoid trying to scare it off on your own, as it may become aggressive if you corner it. Call for wildlife control in Milwaukee instead for the humane removal of your uninvited guest.
Skunks Require Fresh Water
Skunks need shelter during hot weather, but they are more likely to choose a locale that provides them with fresh water. Your leaky garden hose, birdbath and empty containers that fill with rainwater can all provide a skunk with the water it needs and cause it to stick close to your property.
If you want to avoid drawing skunks to your backyard, avoid leaving standing water in buckets and place your birdbath inside a fenced area. If you use sprinklers for your yard or garden, cover the spigots at night and store your garden hose in a locked shed or other protected areas.
Skunks are clever when it comes to beating the heat and may decide that your backyard is the perfect early fall getaway. Give us a call to find out more about our skunk removal services and strategies for keeping them off your property.